ERC Endurance seeking podium at Estoril
ERC Endurance are keen to wind up the season on a positive note and prepare for 2021. After a rough debut season, the factory Ducati team will be on the 12 Hours of Estoril grid with a new rider line-up who have their sights on the podium – Louis Rossi, Mathieu Gines and Sylvain Barrier.
Following a promising maiden outing at the 8 Hours of Sepang, ERC Endurance put their Ducati Panigale V4R in the spotlight at Le Mans. After starting the 24 Heures Motos from 5th place on the grid, ERC Endurance fought to stay in the leading pack despite a number of technical issues, but were forced to retire in the early hours.
Even so, ERC Endurance are coming back stronger at Estoril as a result of that second outing on track. Although the German team remain focused on a single objective – the podium – they are also aiming to go further.
ERC Endurance’s communications officer Jean-Michel Pfrimmer outlines the Ducati team’s goals: “The bike’s performance combined with the Michelin tyres gives us a good shot at the podium. But we are mainly looking to store up everything we learn in the race to prepare for next season. We still have room to improve, and work to do on optimizing our chassis set-up. We have some new exhaust collectors developed by Akrapovic and Ducati to fix the cracking issue we experienced at Le Mans. And, despite comments to the contrary, we did not have electronics issues after replacing the exhaust collector at Le Mans. The reason for the breakdown was a cracked spark plug cap.”
New line-up for the Panigale
ERC Endurance are fielding a new three-rider line-up to back up their ambitions at the 12 Hours of Estoril. Louis Rossi will have support from Mathieu Gines, previously seen in the saddle of the VRD Igol Pierret Experiences Yamaha, and from Sylvain Barrier, the French rider flying the Ducati colours in the FIM Superbike World Championship. The winner of the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup in 2012 and 2013, Barrier also has a fair amount of endurance racing experience, having competed in the FIM EWC on several occasions, most recently in 2018 for BMW Mercury Racing.
All in all, ERC Endurance’s Ducati will be worth keeping an eye on at Estoril.